Archives

Home Sweet Home💕

This weekend I got the keys to my new house. I am still in awww. It does not seem real and I keep marveling at how FAST everything happened. My friend asked me last night what were my first steps of obedience that led to this gift? Thinking about it for a minute I shared about making the decision to move in with my mom. That was such a leap of faith. At the time I had been living on my own for 10 years. The place I was residing in was quaint and cute and comfortable. I had no real reason to leave and was enjoying my time in that city. I was also enjoying my time with a new roommate.

But when my mom asked me to live with her to help her financially to transition from her job I said “yes”. My friend marveled at my response and felt like it showed great faith, but for me I had heard God. How is it faith when He is making it clear what He wants? Either way that was one of the best decisions I had ever made. I had no idea the Father was giving us time.

After her passing I knew He would be sensitive to my time in the home we had shared. I was in no rush to move even though I knew eventually I would. That house served as a great comfort to me in my grieving process.

The next step of faith was probably choosing to end my lease and pay month to month. My pastor suggested it and although I did it I still thought it was very unlikely that I would move anytime soon. I just new I was overpaying and would need to move at some point. There were a few things going wrong with the home and they were indications that I could not stay there. The desire of my heart was to have my own which would also fulfill legacy.

And then I met with my friend’s realtor who I had underestimated. I did not know what a jewel she was and how divine our connection would be. I had given up on the home buying process and she was the one who kept the faith. She was the one who found my home.

“So how did you know this was it?” My friend asked. “I didn’t.” I replied. I explained it was everyone around me. It was the open door after open door. It was seeing God’s hand in the people and the process.

I fully expected to fall in love at first site with my house. There was one house in particular that I did that with. I was so giddy over that home I couldn’t sleep the whole night. But the day before I was going to put my offer in it was taken off the market. I was so hurt. It wasn’t mine.

“So when did you fall in love?” Another friend asked. “Now,” I said. I am falling in love now. I go from room to room in joy and awww. I discover so many little things that bring me joy and make me smile. I can feel the Father smiling with me. It is like He is discovering through my eyes. It is new to Him because it is new to me.

This home brings me comfort. It gives me rest.

I asked the Lord why did He choose this one and not the other one? “Intimacy”, He said. This home is more intimate. It feels like it is embracing me and hugging me when I am in it.

I am so blessed by the people and the process of buying a home. God is truly in all things. And now for the first time in 3 generations we are homeowners again.

May He receive all the glory in this home and may it be used for His good purposes.

SHALOM

Kingdom Business

I’ve always known I would one day start my own business.  I just didn’t know when or even what it would be but it was something that stayed in the back of my mind as a “one day” thing.  Then “one day came”.  After my fourth season of unemployment and about 9 months of waiting, it came.

I’d like to say I “waited well” but the truth is I dragged my feet.  I kicked and screamed.  During the course of applying and interviewing and resume-updating, I resisted His nudging to move forward in creating an LLC. Until finally all of my options were none and I could no longer resist His nudge.

I took the steps but still in my heart wondered if He could really be leading me to do this thing full time?  Certainly not!  Everyone knows entrepreneurship takes a while to reap a profit when getting started!  Clearly God knows this as well! So of course I need to be trying to find something to supplement this vision?  But circumstances said otherwise…

During the time of my unemployment (before I got my first client) a dear friend of mine lost her mother.  I was the only friend who could be there for her physically because a work schedule was not an issue.  It was of course significant for me to be the one walking with her through a difficult time because I myself am still in recovery of my own difficult time.  I was with her when I found out my client had hired me.  We stood in the middle of the craft store and I cried tears of joy as she embraced me in her arms.  It wasn’t until I received that offer did other offers from other companies come through.  They came flooding in.

For several months the doors were closed.  Now they were swinging open.

Initially I took an offer but realized it would take away from building my own business.  I would actually be getting paid more working for myself and logically it made no sense to reduce the hours for my client.  By faith, I declined it.  And by faith I started building for my client a system that I hoped would meet her needs.

The beauty in not only seeing the fruit from this step of faith to be a small business owner is that my first client came through a woman who has had so much purpose in my life.  First a blog follower, then a roommate, then a friend, and now a sister.  Working side by side with her shows me the Father’s love and care.

IMG_1344

His provision is consistent in every area.

I have struggled so much in my career and yet never have I went without.  Often I have felt the “downtimes” were too long.  The seasons of unemployment.  The constant feelings of rejection when hearing “no” and facing closed doors.  Even when knowing it is for the best, it still hurts.  Now I can look back and see HIs perfect timing.  9 months living with my friend/now sister.  9 months living with the woman who loved me more than life itself.  And 9 months of “rest” and recovery before my business began.

He cares.

And I’m honored to be continuing the legacy of the women who made me who I am today in a field that was once my weakness and is now His strength.

IMG_1343

I am grateful for ABN Bookkeeping LLC.

SHALOM

7 More Days

“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭53:1-3‬ ‭NKJV

I am reminded of this passage as I count down the days. 7 more til I am released. I am comforted to know that they also did not see my Savior for who He was. He was a Healer and yet they called him a demon. He was kind and they returned his kindness with persecution. If He is our Master how can we expect to be treated any differently?

I am comforted but my heart still hearts. To have poured out so much, given so much, and to still be passed by…but His response through me is to honor. Honor like David honored Saul. The very man who loved him and had taken him in, eventually sought to end his life.

If God is for us who can be against us?

I believe God uses trials to shape us into His image. I believe we can grow and be Him in the earth.

Still, my heart is tender. I must move slowly in my demonstration of His character. 7 more days and I will once again be in a transition. This time I have no expectation.

Just one day at a time.

He will open a door in His timing. And it will be purposeful. It may not be the reward everyone keeps hoping for me, but it will be purposeful just the same.

His grace is sufficient.

SHALOM

A Few Misunderstandings

Remember that game telephone? Where there is a group of people and the first person whispers a phrase or word in the next person’s ear? They pass it on and then they pass it on and the last person says the word or phrase? Except the word or phrase has changed dramatically because of the thing that happens when people who are different in perception and nature interpret something. So the word starts off as “kite” but ends up as “bus” and everyone is looking at each other side-eyed trying to figure out where the breakdown happened. I mean how do you get bus from kite? They don’t even have a similar vowel. Anyways I bring this up because it seems like my life is lot like this game these days. Only it’s a lot more annoying to be misunderstood or misheard or misperceived in real life. Because in real life misunderstandings cause broken relationships, career hindrances and a lot of other more serious consequences.


One of the benefits of being in a community of people who have known you for some time (or even know you by the spirit for a short time) is that they know you. That means they know your sense of humor, they know your intentions, they know your character. But if someone doesn’t know you then one unassuming sentence can be mistaken as an insult or an attitude. And that can be pretty hurtful if that is not your personality. I think misperceptions of others can happen so easily and they probably happen all the time with strangers. We judge and watch and go about our way having an opinion on someone who didn’t chastise their screaming child in public who was throwing a tantrum (or maybe this is just me?) or a couple who is making out in public with no shame. We sum up people as a whole based on one incident or a few short interactions and think we have them down but our judgment is based on past experience of others who may look like them, sound like them or think like them, not necessarily on them. We live off stereotypes and repeat the distorted truth of those stereotypes in the secrecy of our thoughts or the boldness of our lips.

I was frustrated that I was misunderstood. I was hurt and I was angry. Thankfully I received peace when someone who knew me (a few someone’s actually) was able to say, “Nicole, that’s not you”. These people knew my character, they knew my ways, and they knew my intent. I was blessed when my friend was able to read what I had written the way I intended it to be read. It is an affirming thing for a writer when the reader gets what the writer is saying. But I was reminded that even when those who do know me, who I do love and who I do look up to, misunderstood my intent, well I was reminded that they too are fallen. They too are human. They too miss the mark.

But there is One who knows me through and through. He knows my ways and He knows my heart. He knows my intentions and He knows my thoughts. 

There is no misunderstanding with Him. When you say “kite” He hears “kite”. And when you say “bus” He hears “bus”. And that truth gave me great comfort when I felt disheartened from being misunderstood.

Psalm 139…

Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.

SHALOM

New Job, New Book, New Seasons!

I was told good things come in 3’s.  I’m not a superstitious person however I know that there are patterns and ways of God that we can become awakened to.  Our change in the seasons in nature are an indication of that.

nature-pic

That being said, if such a thing exists then I am a recipient of the “3-rule blessing”. My first week at work went well.  For three workdays in a row my employer treated me to lunch.  The first day was actually with my former employer who will now be my current employer part time since I’m still helping him with his business.  Someone tell me how you go from 0 to 4 jobs in one year???  Only God.  Training is just what I needed too.  I have had so many insecurities and fears concerning this calling in accounting.  My undergrad experience was pretty shocking and I think my accounting prof would think it laughable I am actually considering my CPA.  But God is our weakness where we are strong.  He definitely has been my strength in this area…

It turns out I had nothing to fear as my Controller took his time training me and I was even able to help him in some areas.  The overall feel of this position is one of “chill”.  The atmosphere is void of the stress and anxiety my previous employers carried.  The anxiety that I too previously carried…Maybe it is a prophetic picture. I can rest now.

So I’ve been worried for nothing (as is always the case).  It is like the Father is holding my hand and walking me through the steps it takes to get to where We are going.  I am overwhelmed with His good gifts to me in this season.  One of those gifts is my new book How To Overcome Heartbreak: Stories That Heal.  This book took me exactly 9 months to begin and publish.  Earlier this year He gave me a dream showing me pregnant with a very large child.  He showed me it would be an easy delivery.  It was…

I never imagined I would be an author.  That I would write about very personal things.  That the place that used to be my hiding place as a child–the library–would now find my own writings in its aisles and on its shelves. I am in awe.

I was told more books would come and there would be a demand for them.  I was told they would come without sorrow.  I desire that.  To not have to go through very hard things in order to write.  I look forward to this next chapter of my life, which consists of my new accounting position, this new book, and a new grace…

To find out more about my new book How To Overcome Heartbreak: Stories That Heal click here.

Some really good times lately…

SHALOM

 

I Choose “YES” 


I stood in the conference room with the phone pressed against my ear, almost breathless at the words that were being shared by the person on its other end. She was asking if I would accept their offer. I was in disbelief. After 4+ years, numerous  job applications submitted and several interviews, was the door finally opening? And more importantly was I “allowed” to walk through it? In a split second I thought about God’s word to me in this season, how people keep telling me He will be like a parent. When a parent has a child they will make decisions for them that they know the child is too immature to make. It is the parent’s job to nurture and protect and give the child the best outcome. That is how so much of my journey has been. When it came to big decisions such as jobs, living arrangements and relationships God made it very clear what choice He had in mind, and it was my job to submit to that choice. I had gotten in such a rhythm of submitting that I created false instances for me to practice this art. I made up scenarious thinking God was saying “no” when in fact He was saying, “It’s your choice”.

That was what my sisters told me a month ago when I shared my concerns about my current position. I assumed I had to ride it out til the end like so many times before. On 2 separate occassions without either of them knowing it their response was the same: “Nicole, what if its your choice?” I thought about that for a while. From my perspective it had never been my choice. If it was now than my response to God was, “Then prove it”.

And He did.

I heard myself respond to the HR lady on the phone. I heard myself say 3 letters which sounded so foreign to my own ears because I was so used to saying “No”.

“Yes. Yes, I accept your offer!” We both rejoiced at this new opportunity for me to be further groomed in my career and for me to add value to their company. It was a win win.

After that the week flew by. My boss took me out to lunch as a farewell treat, I tidied up the loose ends I was working on and packed up my remains. We have an agreement and I will still work for him part time. Business is slow so he simply does not need me more than that.

Looking back on this last year I can see God’s hand on my life very clearly. It has been exactly 12 months since my layoff and now I will have a more stable job situation. Even though the path was so unorthodox, it was Him. I never went without. My bills were always paid. I always had food. And I even had extra for social engagements. He gets all the glory.

I believe He used this time to heal some of my thought patterns and wean me from codependency with Him. It still feels very uncomfortable to say “yes” after 14 years of saying “no” but I am learning how to overcome fear in this season.

I’ve heard it said being courageous is not the absence of fear but choosing to move forward in spite of it. Well if it’s my choice than I choose to be brave.

I choose “yes”.

The Tree of Life

I am sitting here alone at the office with a ruler in my hand and a bank report laid before me.  I enter the figures in the excel spreadsheet and find satisfaction in each line completed.  Over and over my skill is confirmed.  I was made for this.  I think back on the years of complacency.  I think back to the stretching and yielding and waiting.  All for this.  An open door I couldn’t have foreseen if I tried, regardless of the prophetic gift inside me.

I have the luxury to sip a great cup of coffee while talking to my bestie on my cell.  I have that luxury because in this season, along with professional growth and skill enhancement, there is autonomy.  I think back to the season before where I was micromanaged and nit picked for no good reason.  Everything inside of me screamed, “I am a good associate!  Why don’t you treat me as such?  Why do you provoke me?!”  but by the leading of the Holy Spirit I suppressed the scream inside and instead released it as a prayer.  Released it as intercession for the very one provoking me.  I did this for days, then months, then years.  And there were glimpses of eternity in our conversations, this man that I prayed for daily.  But the real change was within me.  I was changing.  Again.

I sit here and know that this is my reward.  It didn’t come the way I thought it would, the way I felt it should, but it was tailor made for me.

I am so blessed to be growing professionally.  To finally have this desire met after 3 long years of waiting.  Of yearning.  I am so blessed to be mentored in the art of entrepreneurship.  I am so blessed to be using my gifts and talents which confirm all that was stirring in my heart all those years.

I have purpose.

But I had to find my purpose internally.  I had to find that I was not made by a title or a job or a position.  The position comes as a reflection of who we already are.  And the Father skillfully, carefully, molds and shapes us in preparation for the gift.

There is no sweeter satisfaction than when hope is finally fulfilled.  And it is now fulfilled.

Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

If you would like to check out my recent YouTube video on the topic of contentment click here.

SHALOM